The Hampstead Butcher and Providore opened its doors this morning fulfilling the wishes of many people over the years who’ve demanded a butcher return to West End Lane. It’s the second bite of the cherry for owner Philip Matthews, who came close to opening in West End Lane a couple of years ago.
— Hampstead Butcher (@ButchandProv) November 8, 2014
The business, which continues to operate its Rosslyn Hill branch in Hampstead, has taken over the greengrocer’s site next to The Wet Fish Café. Alongside the fresh meat, the shop also has a charcuterie and cheese section (which I suspect may outperform the meat), a selection of deli items both fresh and tinned, and a reasonable selection of wine and beer (predominantly from popular local brewery Camden Town).
There was a steady trickle of people investigating the shop on this drizzly morning though it was noticeable that the farmer’s market was positively busy, while owner Philip Matthews prowled around with his snagging list clipboard. The floor apparently isn’t right, and the original floor tiles need an additional treatment (though the casual observer would never know).
The great challenge the Hampstead Butcher faces is whether enough West Hampstead residents are willing to pay frequently for the high quality traceable meat it sells. Matthews will be hoping that the clamour for a butcher over the years will marry with the tough economics of delivering high quality fresh meat. He also offers a home delivery service. For West Hampstead, it’s another sign that the area is increasingly seen as one of growing affluence.
Sensibly, the shop will stay open reasonably late in the evenings to capture the commuters returning from work. The opening hours are 10am-8pm weekdays, 9am-8pm Saturday and 9am-6pm Sunday. Due to a lack of space, the butcher’s popular tasting sessiona and events will be available only in its Hampstead branch for the time being.